Sure, it’s fun to catch the latest flick at the multiplex, or grab the newest release at a video store, but sometimes you just gotta say, “Out with the new, and in with the unknown.” There are plenty of older flicks out there that are worth a rental, but never registered on your radar. In Don’t You Forget About, we remember the long-gone gems, so you don’t have to.
WHAT it’s about: That’s a tough one to pin down. Albert Markovski wants to understand the significance of a certain coincidence in his life (namely, running into a stranger three times), so he seeks the help of husband-and-wife existential detectives Vivian and Bernard, who must spy on his every move to resolve his case. Albert is then propelled into a strange and entertaining soul-searching journey, meeting others along the way who are on similar quests themselves.
WHO’s in it: Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Dustin Hoffman, Jude Law, Naomi Watts, Mark Wahlberg… Haven’t had enough yet? Isabelle Huppert, Isla Fisher, Tippi Hedren, Jonah Hill, Richard Jenkins, Jean Smart, and even Shania Twain. Oh, and here’s one for the Losties: Said Taghmaoui.
WHEN it came out: 2004
HOW come you haven’t heard of (or just seen) it: You’ve probably heard of it, but it’s not a soft sell. Existentialism? Absurdism? Enlightenment? If you aren’t sold right already, then you’re likely one of those who didn’t see it when it came out. Reviews were pretty on-the-fence, and I have to say (as much as I hate when people tell me this myself) if you didn’t like it, there’s a good chance you just didn’t get it.
WHY you need to watch it–immediately!
- It’s hilarious! There is no other film that can get away with some of the ridiculous scenarios that this film does and pull it off so seamlessly.
- It’s brilliantly-written and directed by David O. Russell. It’s the perfect combination of quirky characters, clever dialogue and, as I just mentioned, bizarre and entertaining scenarios.
- The cast is stellar and every single person pulls their weight.
- It tackles some of life’s biggest mysteries in a funny and thoughtful way. Like the blanket, which is everything all at once. It’s you, it’s me, it’s a hamburger, a disease and Paris all at once. Why? Because “Everything is the same even if it’s different.” Right? It’s the universe; it’s everything.
- If you don’t love Jason Schwartzman yet, you will after this film.
- It’s got a great score by Jon Brion (who also scored one of my other favourite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). If I could choose only one word to describe the score, it would be inquisitive. What do I mean? Exactly.
- Mark Wahlberg in the best performance of his career. Seriously. Someone was blind to typecasting when they chose him for Tommy Corn, the local fire fighter on his own existential quest and fight against global warming and petroleum use, who turns out to become best friends with poet and fellow-environmentalist Albert. Whatever you think you’re talking about, Tommy will turn it into an arguement against petroleum.
- It leaves you with some amazing one-liners. “You can’t deal with my infinite nature, can you?” (Note to self: must begin a convo one day with “Have you ever transcended space and time?”)